Michelle Parker Bradley was an outstanding basketball player for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons. She was also a star in the classroom as a math major earning the honor of valedictorian. Numbers are important to her so it is no surprise that she works as an actuary. She spent a few minutes this past week to talk with Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I played from 1984 through 1988. Frank Bennett was the head coach. I played for both Trish Duty and April Ezell as assistants."
Why did you decide to attend Lipscomb to play basketball?
"I was from Nashville and I think at the time I wanted to stay closer to home. Frank would have had a lot of influence on that. I really had a lot of respect for him for how he coached the game and how he approached the game.
"Women's basketball programs then were just getting off the ground. That made it interesting."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"During those times we had to rent vans or drive our cars or do whatever we could to get to our games. A lot of my fondest memories are from the trips to and from games.
"I have a lot of good memories from the games themselves, but it was a different world back then for sure in terms of what road trips looked like. There was the necessity of having to come up with something to do on the trips. We got creative I guess.
"Some of us used to drive on those trips. That wouldn’t even be thought of today."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"I can't separate between Frank and Trish on this question. Trish was a very close friend of mine.
"Both of them were very unique in how they approached sports. I think today you look at a lot of sports with a lot of coaches who approach the game by yelling.
"Both of them were very intelligent coaches who could motivate in a really colorful way without being that aggressive type of coach. There is a tremendous amount to be said for that.
“Given my personality it was probably what I needed the most and what I learned from the most. You could get the job done without being so vocal and outspoken about it."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"I would say the big snow storm that hit and everybody being outside on exam week sledding on campus. It was before winter break and it was exam week. The whole campus was out until around midnight."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"In my career I would give tremendous praise to all of the professors in the math department. From a professional standpoint the thing I got the most was their dedication. In the field I am in there is a lot of precision. My professors took a very disciplined approach to math. That has served me well my entire career."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"Probably the one that influenced me the most was Dr. Robert Kerce. But I had two more professors, Dr. Mark Miller and Dr. Richard Kulp, that I had for several classes. All three of them really shaped my entire math education.
"Dr. Kerce was so complete. I can remember him and his precision and being the most disciplined of my professors. I never really experienced a professor who was as clear in his delivery of high-level concepts.
"Dr. Miller just demanded excellence in everything he did and everything you did on a math test including the spelling on the test.
"Dr. Kulp did a lot of statistics at the time which is very heavily a part of my career now. I really valued the practical side of things he brought from his experiences before he became a professor."
Where do you live now?
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I work as a consulting actuary for SIGMA Actuarial Consulting Group, Inc., in Brentwood.
"When I left Lipscomb I went to Vanderbilt to do my graduate work in math. While I was there in the Master's degree program I taught both years of my degree. I got a taste of whether or not that was what I wanted to do.
"I decided I wanted to do something more in a business-related math field rather than teaching.
"I am a property-casualty actuary and a consulting actuary. My day involves talking with different clients and doing a lot of project management. A lot of our individual clients have financial needs from a risk standpoint. That is kind of my day in a nutshell."
Tell us about your family.
"I have been married to my husband, Scott, since 1989. He is a teacher at Overton High School.
"Our daughter, Micah, is a senior at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. She is an English major studying abroad.
"Our son, Eli, is a junior at Lipscomb Academy."
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.